Saturday, September 8, 2007

Reykjavik: geothermal spa, please!

In the capital of Iceland, the biggest tourist attraction is this man-made but naturally supplied mineral rich, geothermal sea-water pool known as the Blue Lagoon.

It's been updated in the entrance and changing areas since I was here last year, and is now rather chic. This is the gift shop where you can buy various tubs and tubes of mineral-rich or mud-based products. They're all at least $60 each for a decent sized tube. This is expensive mud.
Having decided not to purchase, I took full advantage of the freebie trial packets of Mineral Moisture Lotion on the front desk, and headed for the baths. They’re pretty big, and you are supposed to shower beforehand en masse ( contrary to popular belief, nakedness during the actual showering is not mandatory. I kept my ‘kini on) before going down the steps with your towel to soak yourself.
Now, I seem to remember the temperature being hotter last time I was here, and the water was, dare I say it, slightly bluer rather than greyish (all those human bodies sharing one, er, body of water?) but because it is a natural source I suppose there’s little they can do about the heat or constitution of the water. The heat does come in waves, so although peaceful, your time in the lagoon will be peppered with triumphant calls of “Ooh! Over here’s hot! Ooh!” from fellow bathers.
There’s a quiet treatment section, where you can get a massage for an extra price, and for free, you can go to one of these stations dotted around the main pool that have buckets full of white silica mud paste underneath some decking for your enjoyment. You ladle yourself out some mud, rub it into your face/back/arms and leave for 10 minutes to impart natural healing properties. Mmm…
All too soon it was time to take our rejuvinated bodies out, and on to the 40 minute coach journey back to our port. If you’ve ever bathed in hot springs, you may notice the strange smell it leaves on your skin, an egg-like aroma, no matter how much you shower afterward. Although on reflection I’m slightly turned off (I mean, I don’t share my bath water with 200 people, right?) to the health benefits of such an activity, for a pure laugh-out loud at your mates in their swmming gear wearing a face mask in public, this is good value.


Ex-Shammickite said...

I suppose that as the coveted 60's Veedub camper bus went for $23,100 (no, I didn't buy it), you have decided not to devote your life to camping and have returned to the cruise life. The hot springs were fun! I did the same type of thing in the Dead Sea, immersed myself in expensive mud which didn't really improve my appearance, but it was an experience I'm glad I didn't miss!

Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

Not the Blue Lagoon again!
Was your hair crusty for days after?

I'm highlighting you in a blog carnival over at my blog - come n see it!


Expat Traveler said...

Now that looked like a fun trip! You guys are so lucky to have gone there really!

got here via stacy's blog...